Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT): The petitioner, Hathway Cable and Datacom Ltd. is a public limited company and a cable television service provider duly registered as MSO/cable operator had entered into an agreement with the respondent, Odisha Television Ltd., a broadcaster engaged in the business of distribution of television channels with exclusive right to market and distribute television channels. The term of the agreement was of 3 years and the agreement was in consonance with the Digital Addressable System (DAS) notified areas.
It was the case of the petitioner that the respondent has been deliberately refusing to come to the negotiation table for finalization of the terms and conditions of renewal of the agreement. While the petitioners contended that the respondent was favoring another MSO entity, the respondents alleged piracy by the petitioner in contravention of the agreement. The petitioners prayed to direct the respondents to execute and renew the Subscription Agreement on just, equitable and non-discriminatory terms in accordance with the Digital Addressable Cable Television Systems (DAS) Regulations, 2012.
The Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal, without getting into adjudication directly, and categorically stating that supply of signals for further transmission in analog mode being completely prohibited and the whole country falling under DAS w.e.f.1.4.2017, adopted an ad-interim arrangement directing the parties to reconcile and negotiate the commercial terms and conditions and sign the interconnect agreement in accordance with extant regulations as well as making it clear that payment of outstanding liability to not be a precondition for signing of the interconnect agreement. [Hathway Cable & Datacom Ltd. v. Odisha Television Ltd., 2017 SCC OnLine TDSAT 329, decided on 31.8.2017]